WHY ROBERT RULES?

He’s the only guy to keep order. I’ve learned, the hard way, that in order to recover from disaster it pays to read the manual and find out what went wrong and do better next time. The Thursday night Union Bay Board meeting was a disaster by any standard for which I played a part. Judge for yourself..

So I went back to Robert’s Rules of Order (RONR) and confirmed that: POINT OF ORDER is only used to Enforce Rules. The Chair can be interrupted, there is no 2nd required, there is no debate, it can not be amended and there is no vote. RONR (11th ed.), p.247

Wait There’s More!

Robert has Rules for Small Boards (<12 members) too!

  • Motions need not be seconded,
  • informal discussion of a subject is permitted while no motion is pending,
  • when a proposal is perfectly clear to all present a vote can be taken without a motion’s having been introduced.. and last but not least;
  • If the Chair is a member, he may, without leaving the chair, speak in informal discussions and in debate, and vote on all questions. Chair can 2nd a motion.
  • In fact, informal discussions may be initiated by the chair, which, enables the chair to submit proposals without formally making a motion.” RONR (11th Edition), p. 447/448.
  • The Chair has one vote. The Chair can vote on any motion or question when his or her vote would alter the outcome.

Let’s imagine, a village named ‘Hopeful Place’ is looking to become a Municipality. The Board has only four members named Bob, Fred, George and Polly.

Motion:  To Become a Municipality. George is the Chair. Bob and Fred vote “Yes”. Polly Votes “No”.  Looks like Polly lost. But wait, Chair George can vote! Why? Because his vote could potentially affect the outcome…If Chair George votes “No” the Motion dies.

‘Hopeful Place’ needs to find another way. If the goal is to save taxpayers $$ in order to pay for mandated infrastructure, the find a Regional District nearby and Voila!

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